EXPOSURES OF EVIL. THE INCREASE OF TRAVEL. THE INCREASE OF KNOWLEDGE. GREAT CALAMITIES. ISRAEL'S RECOVERY FROM BLINDNESS. ISRAEL'S RETURN TO PALESTINE. WAR PREPARATIONS AND WORLD WAR. CONFLICT BETWEEN CAPITAL AND LABOR. BUNDLING OF THE TARES. GREAT UNREST. A WORLD-WIDE UNMANAGEABLE CRISIS. BEGINNING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION. GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM PREACHED. UNBELIEF AND FALSE BELIEF. THE ABOUNDING OF INIQUITY. SCOFFING AT JESUS' PRESENCE. A GREAT FALLING AWAY. FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS. FEDERATING OF THE CHURCHES. EXPECTATION CONCERNING THE KINGDOM. CLARIFICATION OF THE TRUTH. THE GOSPEL-AGE HARVEST WORK. CLEANSING AND TESTING THE CONSECRATED. MANIFESTATION OF UNFAITHFUL CHRISTIANS. THE PROPHET ELIJAH'S COMING. THE GREAT ANTICHRIST.
DO YOU KNOW that the Bible gives time prophecies and sign prophecies to indicate the time and fact of Jesus' Return; that these are necessary because of the invisibility of Christ's Return; otherwise we could not know of His Return, since it is invisible, as we have shown from many lines of pertinent Biblical evidence, in our examination of the manner and stages of His Return (see Chapters 8, 9 for details); that both time prophecies (see Chapter 10 for details) and sign prophecies (such as we will set forth here) prove that He has already returned in His Second Advent; and that our not seeing Him is no proof that He is not here?
EXPOSURES OF EVIL
Do you know that the Bible teaches that one of the secular signs accompanying our Lord's Return would be exposures of evil in all walks of life, as the manifestations of the judging work of His Second Advent (Luke 12:2; 1 Thes. 5:1-4; 2 Tim. 4:1; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 16:15; 1 Cor. 4:5; Ps. 82:1-5); that the exposures of evil along the lines of vice, and certain phases of poverty, education, statecraft, finance, industry, business and labor, are the expressions of the judgments that the foregoing references teach would accompany our Lord's Return; that the proofs of the
judgment work of Christ's Second Advent among statesmen is seen in the exposures of the land and market hunger of some of them, of the protection of the rich as against the poor on the part of some of them, of the corruption of legislators, judges and executors, of election frauds, of the spoils system, of boss rule, of graft, of land frauds, of squandering national, state and municipal funds and resources, of using public office for private gain, of militarism and navalism, of dishonest, sharp and secret diplomacy, of treaty tyranny and treaty breaking, of oppression of weak nations, of the rule of might as against right, etc.; that the judgment work of Christ's Second Advent among financiers, industrialists and business men, is seen in the exposures of their crooked stock deals, legal technicalities, delays and evasions, price manipulations, monopolizing activities, destructive competition, contract violations, adulterations, control of publicity agencies, landlordism, dishonesty, bribery, tax dodging, misuse of trust funds, insurance scandals, railroad, mining and trust crookedness, battles of financial giants, manufacture of panics, wars and revolutions, hiring of private armies, enforcing lockouts, indulging in extreme extravagance, child labor, exploitation of the poor, weak and unfortunate, etc.; that the judgment work of Christ's Second Advent is seen among the laborers in the exposures of their extreme class discontent, curtailment of production, unjust strikes, strife, mobbing, riots, incendiarism, sabotage, boycotts, etc.; that these exposures, increasingly being made since 1874, and previously but seldom made, prove that Jesus' Second Advent has set in?
THE INCREASE OF TRAVEL
Do you know that, as a second secular sign indicative of Christ's Second Advent, the Bible teaches that travel would increase greatly during "the time of the end" (Dan. 12:4); that the most rapid means of communication in 1799, the beginning of "the time of the end,"
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was on horseback, while now telephones, telegraphs, radio and television unite cities, nations and continents; that the first effective steamboat was built in 1806; that the first effective locomotive, the Ironsides, was built in 1831; that Sir Isaac Newton, the great Christian philosopher, who died in 1727, on the strength of this very prophecy said, "I should not wonder if some day men will travel at the rate of fifty miles an hour"; that Voltaire, the great infidel philosopher, who died in 1778, when much more was known of the power of steam, despising this prophecy of God's Word, declared that it had made a fool of Sir Isaac Newton when it led him to make the above statement; that this predicted "running to and fro" is being fulfilled by yourself and others as you travel everywhere by auto, boat, train, airplane, etc.?
THE INCREASE OF KNOWLEDGE
Do you know that, as a third secular sign indicative of Christ's Second Advent, the Bible prophesies that in "the time of the end" knowledge would be increased (Dan. 12:4); that only four centuries ago illiteracy was so general that the English Parliament passed a law providing for those of its members who were unable to read, while now ability to read and write is general, even among the poorest classes; that free schools were started as Sunday Schools in 1784, and hence that knowledge began to increase greatly with the beginning of "the time of the end," in 1799; that not one of the now many large Bible Societies or Tract Societies was started until 1804, because only then was there much use for reading matter for the masses; that since 1874 knowledge has increased greatly, more than in all previous history, in harmony with this prophecy
Do you know that, as a fourth secular sign, the Bible teaches that great calamities would accompany Christ's Return (Luke 21:11); that within the last eighty years, some of the greatest and certainly the
most frequent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, floods, famines, pestilences, ship and mining disasters, fires, wars, revolutions, etc., of history have occurred?
ISRAEL'S RECOVERY FROM BLINDNESS
Do you know that, as a fifth secular sign, the Bible teaches Israel's recovery from their blindness and their restoration to God's favor (Rom. 11:11, 15, 25-27); that in 1878 Delitzsch began to circulate his Hebrew New Testament; that whereas prior to 1878 both Orthodox and Reformed Jews regarded Jesus as a reprobate of the worst kind and as the worst of all false prophets, at the mention of whose name they would expectorate to show their abhorrence of Him, their attitude has now changed so greatly as to make them regard their rejection of Jesus as a prophet as one of their greatest national mistakes; that now many Jews think very favorably of Jesus, calling Him the greatest of Israel's prophets, a holy man and a most marvelous reformer, e.g., Rabbi Stephen Wise, who for years was America's most prominent rabbi and Jewish leader, in his sermons warmly recommended to his congregation to welcome the Gospels into their homes and to study them; that some Jewish authors have written commendatory lives of Christ, e.g., Dr. J. Klausner, an able Jewish Hebrew scholar, has written a life of Jesus in very complimentary terms, though, of course, he does not accept Him as the Messiah; that the New Testament, including translations in Hebrew and Yiddish, is being widely read in Jewish circles, and is removing Israel's blindness and prejudice slowly, but surely?
ISRAEL'S RETURN TO PALESTINE
Do you know that, as a sixth secular sign indicative of Christ's Second Advent, the Bible prophesies Israel's return to Palestine as their home land, and Israel's reviving national consciousness, symbolized by the fig tree's leafing (Jer. 16:13-18; Ezek. 37:21-28; Amos 9:11, 14, 15; Acts 15:14-17; Matt. 24:30-33; Luke 21:27-36); that in 1878, through the Berlin Congress
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of Nations, Israel's return to Palestine was legalized; that subsequently more legal rights in Palestine were given to them, and that as a result their return to Palestine and their national consciousness have been enlarging ever since; that the World War (Phase I) resulted in great advantages coming to Israel in their return to their homeland, not only in freeing Palestine from the despotic rule of the Turks, but also in bringing pressure to bear on Britain to aid in their return; that on Nov. 2, 1917 Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, in which the other Allied powers concurred, which pledged her "to view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people"; that an important step was the setting up of the State of Israel in May 1948; that under the Law of the Return passed by Israel's Parliament in 1950, the gates of Israel were opened to whoever desires to return; that Jews from 64 different countries have returned, and there are now over 1,700,000 Jews in Palestine; that this indicates that Jesus' Second Advent has already set in?
WAR PREPARATIONS AND WORLD WAR
Do you know that, as a seventh secular sign indicative of Jesus' Second Advent, the Bible prophesies that gigantic war preparations and a world war would take place (Joel 3:9-14); that these war preparations began a few years after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, i.e., about 1874, and eclipsed all previous war preparations of history; that the World War in its first phase (1914-1918) followed, after which even greater war preparations were made; that these in turn were followed by World War, Phase II (1939-1945), as a further part of the great war of prophecy?
CONFLICT BETWEEN CAPITAL AND LABOR
Do you know that, as an eighth secular sign, the Bible prophesies that the conflict between Capital and Labor would mark the period of our Lord's Return (Jas. 5:1-8; Amos 8:4-10; Mic. 6:10-16); that increasingly since 1874 there have been great conflicts
between them, until now relations between them are most threatening; that many of the evils that beset the world are traceable to this conflict; that there are many rights and wrongs on both sides, with selfishness as the ruling principle with both parties to it, but that those who are thoroughly just, while sympathizing with both parties, cannot take sides; that this conflict will culminate in a revolution, commonly called the Battle of Armageddon?
BUNDLING OF THE TARES
Do you know that, as a ninth secular sign, the Bible prophesies that there would be a great bundling of symbolic tares, an assembling of imitation Christians into all sorts of organizations, during the period of Christ's Return (Matt. 13:29, 30, 40, 41); that ever since 1874 many organizations of imitation Christians have increased, along capitalistic, labor, religious, national, international, political, fraternal, reform, philanthropic, social, etc., lines, with some merging with one another, and that more new ones have been created and have vastly increased, as is evidenced by the almost infinite number of clubs, societies, orders, federations, unions, corporations, alliances, leagues, etc., in Christendom; that selfishness, especially in the forms of self-preservation and self-aggrandizement, is the cord binding these symbolic tares—imitation Christians—into these symbolic tare bundles; that this bundling work was to precede the hurling of the bundles into the symbolic furnace of fire, which represents the Great Tribulation, with which this Age ends?
Do you know that, as a tenth secular sign marking the period of Christ's Second Advent, the Bible prophesies that there would be great unrest among all classes of people (Luke 21:25-27); that this unrest implies a widespread distress from, and a deep-seated dissatisfaction with, prevailing conditions, and an undefinable fear of worse future conditions, accompanied by more or less perplexity; that this unrest now marks all ranks
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of society, as can be seen among statesmen, capitalists, clergy, church members, women, the middle class, the laboring class, the farming class and the underprivileged classes?
A WORLD-WIDE UNMANAGEABLE CRISIS
Do you know that, as an eleventh secular sign, the Bible teaches that a world-wide unmanageable crisis, such as the world had never previously seen, would be at hand during the period of Christ's Second Advent (Luke 21:25-27; Is. 29:14; Ps. 82:1-5); that previously there have been unmanageable crises in human history, e.g., just before Israel's national overthrow, the breaking up of the Roman Empire, the religious and the political Reformation, and the French Revolution; that in each of these crises there was a general disregard of religion and of civil and parental authority, inter-national suspicions, envies, rivalries, hatreds and wars, national aggrandizements, much hatred, suspicion and strife between the social classes, disintegration of family ties and of the sense of family obligations, widespread suffering from social injustice, intense dissatisfaction with current conditions, general advocacy of radical social changes, fundamental disagreement as to the necessary remedies, deep-seated perplexity as to causes and cures of prevalent maladies the offer of palliatives instead of real remedies, frenzied and futile efforts of reformers, and the prevalence of an optimism that saw no evils present; that such conditions are more in evidence in the world now and are more widespread than ever before in human history; that the political, national, international, financial, capitalistic, labor, farmer, social, family and religious experts do not know, individually or collectively, how to manage the crisis that now holds the world in its grasp, and are much discouraged at the present and full of forebodings for the future?
BEGINNING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Do you know that, as a-twelfth secular sign indicative of our Lord's Second Presence, the Bible prophesies
the beginning of the great Time of Trouble (Matt. 24:21, 22; 13:41, 42; Dan. 12:1; Rev. 14:14, 18-20), with which the Gospel Age ends and the Millennial Age begins; that while this trouble would be worldwide, Christendom, as symbolized by Judea and Jerusalem, would be its storm center (Jer. 25:29-33; Is. 13:11-13; Zeph. 3:8; Matt. 24:16-22; Ezek. 7:1-27); that Christendom, as symbolized by Jerusalem, would undergo a fourfold punishment through this great tribulation, as indicated in Ezek. 14:21, the sword there referred to symbolizing a world war and a world revolution (v. 17), the famine and pestilence being literal and world-wide (comp. 13, 19), and the noisome beasts representing lawless men—anarchists, because, as wild beasts do not regard law and order, they fittingly represent anarchists (v. 15); that the Great Tribulation, accordingly, would consist of world war, revolution, famine, pestilence and anarchy; that ever since Aug. 1, 1914, we have been in this Great Tribulation, the war of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 being the predicted world war of the Great Tribulation (Joel 3:1-14); that the great shortages of food in many countries from 1914 onward are a part of the famine of the Great Tribulation and that such famine conditions will become worse as the Great Tribulation progresses to and through the world revolution and anarchy; that unusually great epidemics since 1914, like the flu, cholera, typhus and typhoid fever, polio, etc., are a part of the pestilence of the Great Tribulation, and that such and other epidemics will become worse as the Great Tribulation progresses to and through the world revolution and anarchy?
Do you know that Elijah on the mountain was by God, in the wind, the earthquake and the fire, given a vision of the Great Tribulation's world war, revolution and anarchy respectively (1 Kings 19:11, 12); that because the word earth is Scripturally used to represent society (Matt. 5:13; Gen. 6:12; 11:1), an earthquake is Scripturally used to represent a revolution,
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because a revolution causes society to shake and quake (Is. 29:6; Heb. 12:26, 27; Rev. 6:12; 8:5; 11:13, 19; 16:18); that after the symbolic wind—the World War—the next stage of the Great Tribulation is the symbolic earthquake—the World Revolution—"after the wind an earthquake" (1 Kings 19:11); that the nations having become greatly weakened in very many ways by the World War, and giving cause to the laboring classes in many countries to suffer greatly in a variety of ways from the results of the World War, the loyalty of even the conservative section of Labor toward their national governments has been greatly shaken; that the blunders of statesmen, financiers and ecclesiastics and the crises that they are continually creating by their selfish policies are more and more alienating the support of even the conservative section of Labor, so that only a few more such blunders are needed to goad them to desperation, which will be the signal for the foretold symbolic earthquake—world revolution—by which conservative Labor will overthrow in the bloodiest of all revolutions every unrighteous government, selfish capitalistic combination and sectarian system of Christendom (Rev. 16:18, 19; Jas. 5:1-8; Jer. 25:29-33; Ezek. 7:1-27; Joel 2:1-11); that world conditions are fast ripening for this world revolution, which will, by destroying all unrighteous governments, selfish capitalistic combinations and sectarian religions, bring a little nearer the completed overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of God's Kingdom (Zeph. 3:8, 9; Luke 21:26, 28, 31; Hag. 2:6, 7; Heb. 12:26-28)?
Do you know that all the above twelve secular signs of the times add cumulative force to the time prophecies as proving that Christ has returned; that there are additionally many religious signs of the times, which make the proof complete that our Lord has returned and is engaged in overthrowing Satan's empire?
GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM PREACHED
Do you know that the Bible prophesies that a world-
wide proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom would come to a head just before the Gospel-Age Harvest would begin, which beginning and the setting in of our Lord's Return are synchronous (Matt. 24:14, 3; 13:39); that the Bible is the best preacher of the Gospel of the Kingdom; that by the Bible's translation into every national language, and by its being sent to all nations, this world-wide proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom was finally attained in 1861, according to the report of the British and Foreign Bible Society of that year; that to bring this work to a head the Lord raised up the Foreign Missionary Societies from 1792 onward, and the Bible Societies from 1804 onward, and through these two movements caused the Bible to be translated into all national languages—not into all dialects—and to be circulated among all nations by 1861—thirteen years before the Harvest and Christ's Return set in (Matt. 24:14); that this sign having been fulfilled proves that our Lord has returned in His Second Advent?
UNBELIEF AND FALSE BELIEF
Do you know that, as a second religious sign of the times indicative of our Lord's Return, the Bible prophesies that unbelief and false belief would be widespread (Matt. 24:24-26; Luke 18:8; 2 Tim. 4:1-4; 1 Tim. 4:1-3); that such false belief and unbelief are evident, not only in the contradictions of the creeds, sects and sectlets, but more especially in Evolution, Higher Criticism, Rationalism, Materialism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Infidelism, Modernism, Christian Science, Spiritism, Faith-curism, Indifferentism, Combinationism, Secularism, Reformism, Contradictionism, Revolutionism, Occultism, Theosophy, New Thought, etc.
THE ABOUNDING OF INIQUITY
Do you know that, as a third religious sign indicative of our Lord's Return, the Bible prophesies the abounding of iniquity (2 Tim. 3:1-9, 13; Matt. 24:12); that while there is much good in the world,
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Probably there never was a time in human history when wickedness—both Godward and manward—was greater than it is now; that much of the evil in the world is now organized and, therefore, more ruthless and powerful than ever before; that, not the Golden Rule, but the rule of selfishness prevails almost universally in State, Aristocracy, Finance, Business, Industry, Labor, Agriculture, Education, Family, Church, Politics, Society, etc.; that it is beyond human power to stop the rule of selfishness, which, unless stopped, will result in the greatest calamities of all history; that the only power that can reform the world is the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus and His glorified Church?
SCOFFING AT JESUS' PRESENCE
Do you know that, as a fourth religious sign of our Lord's Return, the Bible prophesies that scoffing at, and the unbelief of ignorance in, the proclamation of His Return as having set in would be general (2 Pet. 3:3, 4; Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 17:28-30); that since the fact of our Lord's Return as having set in has been publicly presented, the predicted scoffing has been taking place—"Where is the promise of His parousia" (presence, not coming; see margins of both E.R.V. and A.R.V.)—and the predicted unbelief of ignorance has been and is being shown?
A GREAT FALLING AWAY
Do you know that, as a fifth religious sign of the times indicating Jesus' Return, the Bible prophesies a great falling away in the churches (2 Tim. 3:1-9; 4:3, 4); that this falling away is manifest both in the clergy and in the laity; that, according to 2 Tim. 3:1-9, many of the clergy at the time of our Lord's Return would be self-lovers, money lovers, popularity lovers, sensation lovers, pleasure lovers, unbelievers, higher critics or modernists, dishonest, moral cowards, etc., and that these things, now fulfilling, are proofs of their falling away from the Biblical teachings and practices; that according to 2 Tim. 3:1-9 many of the laity of the time of our Lord's Return would be grossly
ignorant of the Bible, zealless for God and true religion, worldly, rejecting the truth for error and attracted by worldly contrivances to the externals of religion while remaining without its spirit; and that these things, now fulfilling, are proofs of the laity's falling away from Biblical teachings and practices?
FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS
Do you know that, as a sixth religious sign of the Lord's Return, the Bible predicts that at the time of Christ's Return there would be false Christs and false prophets in the world (Matt. 24:24); that the individuals who have falsely claimed to be Christ or prophets cannot be meant in Matt. 24:24; because such have never deceived "many" or endangered the elect to deception; that the true Christ is Jesus, the Head, and the faithful Church is His Body (1 Cor. 12:12-14, 27; Gal. 3:16, 29; 1 Cor. 15:23; Rom. 12:4, 5; Eph. 1:22, 23; 2:15; 4:4, 14); that from this standpoint a false Christ must consist of a counterfeit head and a counterfeit body; that every sect that claims another head than Christ and claims to be the true Church must be a false Christ, one with a counterfeit head and body; that this makes such churches as the Roman and Greek Catholic Churches, the World Council of Churches, the German and Scandinavian Lutheran Churches and the Anglican Church, false Christs, because all of them claim to be the true Church, and yet acknowledge another head than Jesus; that in these systems we recognize the false Christs of Matt. 24:24; that as the false Christs that have deceived "many" and endangered the elect to deception were not individuals, but sectarian systems, having counterfeit heads and bodies, so the false prophets would be such sectarian and error-teaching systems as claim to have no heads other than Christ, but claim to be the true Church; that this implies that all false teaching sects that claim no other head than Christ, but claim to be the true. Church, are thus shown to be the false prophets—not individuals, but systems—of
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Matt. 24:24; that such false Christs and such false prophets are the only ones that have deceived "many" and have endangered the very elect to deception; that our times above all other times abound with the activities of such false Christs and false prophets, and therefore are the times referred to in Matt. 24:24 as indicating our Lord's Return; that their present special great works (their "great signs and wonders") prove that Christ's Second Advent has set in?
FEDERATING OF THE CHURCHES
Do you know that, as a seventh religious sign of the Lord's Return, the Bible prophesies a unionistic movement in the churches (Is. 8:9-12; Rev. 6:14); that Is. 8:9-12 in literal language foretells a world-wide propaganda for the union of diverse religious peoples; that this prophecy finds its fulfillment in the agitations since the year 1874 for a union of all the churches; that this union in federative form has prospered to the extent of embracing most of the Protestant denominations, as well as has produced corporate, as distinct from federative, union in not a few denominations; that efforts are being made to federate the Roman and Greek Catholic Churches, and that according to the figures of Rev. 6:14 these two churches will form one roll of the figurative scroll; that federated Protestantism constitutes the other roll of the figurative scroll of Rev. 6:14; that the rolling up of the two ends of this figurative scroll (the unionistic efforts in Catholicism and Protestantism) also implies a more friendly attitude of these two parts of the symbolic heavens (the powers of spiritual control, the religious powers) as is everywhere evident in Christendom; that these federative efforts immediately precede the destruction of Catholic and Protestant sectarianism, and therefore imply Christ's Second Presence (Rev. 6:14; 19:11-21)?
EXPECTATION CONCERNING THE KINGDOM
Do you know that, as an eighth religious sign indicative of our Lord's Return, the Bible prophesies that
there would be a general expectation of the near establishment of God's Kingdom on the part of the consecrated (Matt. 25:1-12; Luke 21:28, 31); that the virgins' going forth to meet the Bridegroom represents the Second Advent movement among the consecrated; that the virgins' seeing the Bridegroom represents the consecrated recognizing Christ's Second Presence; that this has been fulfilling ever since late in 1875, and that the Lord's Presence setting in before it was recognized, He must have been here in His Second Advent before late in 1875; that this proves that Christ's Second Advent has set in?
CLARIFICATION OF THE TRUTH
Do you know that, as a ninth religious sign indicative of Jesus' Return, the Bible prophesies the clarifying of the Truth on every subject, especially on religion (Dan. 12:4, 10, 12; Is. 60:1, 2; 52:6-8; Luke 12:37; 1 Cor. 10:11); that Dan. 12:4, 10 connects the increase of true knowledge and the understanding of the Truth by the righteous with Christ's Return (Dan. 12:1-3); that Is. 60:1, 2 teaches the same thought, and that Is. 52:6-8 shows that God's mouthpieces would see the Truth alike at that time; that our Lord expressly promised in Luke 12:37 that at His Return He would give the faithful special feasts of Truth, and that this has been fulfilling ever since 1874; that 1 Cor. 10:11 expressly promises special light for God's people in the end of this Age, and that we being in the end of this Age, this light must be now shining; that the wonderful enlightenment of our times on secular and religious subjects is due to and proves Christ's Second Presence; that God desires us to see that the Truth has been clarifying ever since 1874 and that, among other reasons, because it proves our Lord's Second Presence ever since that time (Luke 12:37); that Christ, in proof of His Second Presence, has been shedding light on all secular and religious subjects; that the wonderful inventions and discoveries of our times and the great advances in all branches
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of secular knowledge for human welfare, are due to the presence of Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, shining with healing in His beams as foregleams of the Millennial Day; that the dark sayings of the Scriptures and the questions on religion that have puzzled earth's wisest men are now becoming very clear, and that as a result of the light that Jesus is shedding abroad now in the early stages of His Second Advent; that this enlightenment is only the Dawn of the Light of God's Millennial Day which will give perfect knowledge to the world?
THE GOSPEL-AGE HARVEST WORK
Do you know that, as a tenth religious sign of Jesus' Return, the Bible prophesies the Harvest work, whereby the fruitage of the Gospel Age sowing is gathered (Ps. 50:5; Matt. 13:29, 30, 40-43; 24:31); that Ps. 50 describes the period and activities accompanying Christ's Return, as is evident from a comparison of v. 3 with the rest of this Psalm; that Ps. 50:5 shows that one of the activities of that period would be a gathering of the Lord's faithful people to Him; that the "angels" that were to do this gathering of saints were not spirit, but human, messengers who by the sickle of Truth reaped God's faithful people (Matt. 13:30, 41; 24:31); that the great trumpet of Matt. 24:31 is the Harvest Truth as a message that began to go forth in 1874, and by the Fall of 1914 effected the reaping, and by the Spring of 1916 effected the gleaning, of the saints of God; that this reaping and gleaning work was done by the greatest manifestation of Bible Truth given since the days of the Apostles, and that this light came so abundantly to insure the gathering of the wheat class in time; that at the same time the tares (imitation Christians) were gathered into all sorts of tare bundles like trusts, corporations, mergers, combines, etc., binding capitalistic tares; labor unions, socialistic clubs, syndicalistic and anarchistic associations, etc., binding the proletarian tares; alliances, ententes, etc., binding the national tares; lodges, societies,
orders, etc., binding bourgeoisean tares; and federations, councils, conferences, etc., binding the religious tares, etc.; that both the reaping of the wheat and the binding of the tares began and ended simultaneously, 1874-1914; that the bundled tares began in World War, Phase I, 1914-1918, to be hurled into the furnace of fire—the Great Tribulation; that this work with the wheat and tares proves that our Lord's Return occurred in the Fall of 1874?
CLEANSING AND TESTING THE CONSECRATED
Do you know that, as an eleventh religious sign of Jesus' Return, the Bible teaches the cleansing and testing of the consecrated amid experiences that try the hearts of all professed Christians (Mal. 3:1-3); that if such a sign has been fulfilling, it proves that our Lord's Return has set in; that the Lord's Second Advent is referred to in the statement, "the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant whom ye delight in; behold He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts" (Mal. 3:1); that special trials and cleansings for the consecrated are prophesied as marking the time of His presence and appearing in Mal. 3:2, 3; that the expression, "the day of His coming," refers to the Parousia, the period from 1874 to 1914 (Mal. 3:2); that the expression, "when He appeareth," refers to the Epiphany, the period beginning in 1914 (Mal. 3:2); that in this verse the expressions, "refiner's fire" and "fuller's soap," imply purging and cleansing amid severe trial; that the typical sons of Levi were the Priests and Levites in Israel (Mal. 3:3); that the antitypical sons of Levi are the Little Flock as antitypical Priests and the Great Company as antitypical Levites; that the antitypical Refiner's fires remove our deeper faults, even as the natural fire burns out the dross from ore, leaving the pure metal; that the antitypical Fuller's soap washes away the superficial (surface) faults, even as a natural fuller's soap cleanses the skin; that the Little Flock is meant by the gold and that the Great
Signs of the Times on Our Lord's Return.
Company is meant by the silver of Mal. 3:3; that the purpose of these fiery trials is the cleansing of God's people from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (Mal. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:6, 7; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; 2 Cor. 7:1)?
Do you know that present conditions are conducive to such testing; that there never was so much error as now in the world, as can be seen by the various no-ransom theories, such as Christian Science, Spiritism, Materialism, Evolution, etc., infidel theories, such as Higher Criticism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Rationalism, Pantheism, Deism, etc., unionistico-compromising theories, such as Federationism, Trusts, etc., external reform theories, like introducing Millennial conditions by legal restraints put upon various evils, etc., murmursome contradictionism, such as dissatisfaction with, and attacks upon; the Lord's teachings, etc., and revolutionism, like sectarian and other teachings and practices subversive of the ways of truth and righteousness and conducive to error and unrighteousness; that it is the Lord's permissive will that the faith of all professed Christians be tested by these multitudinous errors, in order that it may be manifested whether they have received the Truth in the love of it (2 Thes. 2:9-12); that there were never more allurements than now to appeal to the selfish, worldly and sinful instincts of God's professed people; that it is the Lord's permissive will that these allurements operate to the end that all of God's professed people may be tested as to their love for righteousness; that the Lord permits these inducements to error, selfishness, worldliness and sinfulness, to suggest themselves as objects of indulgence to His consecrated people, while He requires these to overcome them amid conditions that make it hard to hold to truth and righteousness, in order that they may demonstrate exceptional hatred for sin, error, selfishness and worldliness and exceptional loyalty to truth, love, heavenly-mindedness and righteousness; that these conditions are losses, disappointments, delays, restraints, shelvings, our and
others' faults, hardships, necessities, pain, sickness, weariness, opposition, contradiction, persecution, etc.; that these conditions make the way of salvation a narrow one, one full of difficulties, to overcome in which requires the refining and purifying work described in Mal. 3:2, 3; that only a few (a Little Flock) prove thoroughly true to the Lord and the principles of truth and righteousness amid such crucial trials; that the bulk of the Lord's consecrated people have failed amid such fiery trials to maintain a loyalty sufficient to permit them to remain in the Little Flock; that those not fully faithful have lost membership in the Little Flock and are now in the Great Company; that the latter's revolutionizing against various of the Lord's teachings and arrangements, manifests that they are in the Great Company (Ps. 107, 10, 11); that these trials among the Little Flock and Great Company beginning in 1878, as an eleventh religious sign of the times, are in harmony with the thought that our Lord returned in 1874?
MANIFESTATION OF UNFAITHFUL CHRISTIANS
Do you know that, as a twelfth religious sign, the Bible prophesies the manifestation of unfaithful Christians; that the fiery trials that manifest the full faithfulness of the Little Flock and the measurable faithfulness of the Great Company, also reveal the unfaithfulness of the Second Death class and of other unfaithful classes (Ps. 91:3-12); that some of the consecrated become completely unfaithful (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 2 Tim. 3:1-9; John 17:12; 2 Pet. 2:1-3, 10-22; 1 John 5:16; Jude 4, 8-19); that such unfaithfulness always began by their slackening their spirit of consecration; that this was followed by their cherishing some secret sin; that their secret sins were followed by presumptuous sins; that in turn these presumptuous sins were allowed to dominate; that these finally led to the great transgression—the sin unto death (Ps. 19:12, 13); that many of these sinners have denied Christ as their blood-ransoming Savior
Signs of the Times on Our Lord's Return.
(Heb. 6:6; 10:29; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jude 4); that many of these have repudiated their consecration, i.e., their covenant with the Lord by sacrifice, thus counting the blood [death] of the covenant [of sacrifice] wherewith they were sanctified [consecrated to follow in the Lord's way of sacrifice] an unholy thing (Heb. 10:29); that all consecrated persons in Christ who have become the leaders in No-Ransomism, Infidelism, Combinationism, Reformism, Contradictionism, and Revolutionism, which the Little Flock throughout, and the Great Company ultimately overcome, are thereby manifested to be Second Deathers (1 Cor. 3:17); that such persons are Satan's chief representatives on earth in opposition to the Lord's ways, even as Jannes and Jambres were Pharaoh's chief representatives in opposing Moses (2 Tim. 3:8); that it is due to these evil men that unconsecrated professors of Christianity who are not living up to their privileges are misled into all sorts of errors of doctrine and life (2 Pet. 2:1, 2); that this accounts largely for the great falling away from Christian faith and life manifest on all hands, especially among the clergy and laity; that just such a widespread falling away on the part of the unfaithful consecrated, unfaithful justified and hypocritical nominal Christians is one of the signs of our Lord's presence (Luke 18:8); that the No-Ransomism movement, the first of the six evil movements of the last days, having begun in the Spring of 1878, the manifestation of the unfaithful on all hands is in line with our Lord's having returned in 1874, and is a twelfth religious sign of His Return?
THE PROPHET ELIJAH'S COMING
Do you know that, as a thirteenth religious sign indicative of Jesus' Return, the Bible foretells that the prophet Elijah would come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and seek to convert the world to the Lord, and, if successful in his mission, the Time of Trouble would not come, but, if unsuccessful, it would come (Mal. 4:5, 6); that the Elijah that
was to come cannot be one individual—the great Israelitish Prophet-Reformer—because one person could not reach all the nations of his own generation in an attempt to convert them—to say nothing of those of other generations; that God gave Jesus and the Church the mission of seeking to convert the world (Matt. 9:13; 28:18, 19; Luke 24:46, 47; Acts 1:8), hence they are the Elijah of Mal. 4:5, 6; that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah, because he sought to convert Israel (Matt. 17:12; Luke 1:17); that the Elijah of whom Jesus said "who is to come" (Matt. 11:14, R.V.) had not according to this statement yet come, though John the Baptist had already come; that the Elijah of whom Jesus was there speaking is the Church, and that the sentence should therefore be translated, "This [one, John the Baptist] is [represents] that Elijah who is to come"; that therefore both Elijah and John were types of the Church?
Do you know that the Old Testament Jezebel, who was united to her husband, Ahab, contrary to God's law (Ex. 34:12-16; 1 Kings 16:31, 32), through Ahab's power introduced a false religion into Israel, and persecuted all opposers, especially Elijah (1 Kings 17:1-3; 18:1-4, 9-19); that the Jezebel of Rev. 2:20 (written long after the Old Testament's Jezebel died) is the antitypical Jezebel, the Catholic Church, which became a symbolic harlot (Rev. 2:20-23; 17:1-6; 18:3-11) by an illicit union with antitypical Ahab, the civil power, contrary to God's law, which required the Church to remain a pure virgin waiting to be married to Christ at His Second Advent (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7-9); that antitypical Jezebel has likewise through antitypical Ahab's power introduced into spiritual Israel her false religion and persecuted its opposers, especially antitypical Elijah, the true Church; that as Elijah was forced by Jezebel's and Ahab's persecutions to flee into a literal wilderness for 3½ prophetic years, 1260 days (Jas. 5:17, 18), so the true Church had to flee from the persecutions of the Catholic
Signs of the Times on Our Lord's Return.
Church and the civil power, into the isolated condition, from 539 A.D. to 1799 A.D., 1260 symbolic days, or 1260 literal years (Rev. 12:6; 13:5)?
Do you know that during the 1260 years that antitypical Elijah was in the condition of isolation, the Lord's Two Witnesses, the Old and New Testaments, delivered their message covered with the sackcloth of dead languages and creeds, and that consequently there was a spiritual famine, the antitype of the one during Elijah's wilderness sojourn (Rev. 11:2, 3); that as Elijah confuted the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:17-40), so the true Church through the teachings of the Reformation confuted the teachings of the Catholic clergy; that as Elijah's prayer, after he returned from the wilderness, brought the rain which refreshed and made the earth fruitful, thus breaking the famine, so the prayers of the true Church brought forth, through the Bible Societies founded from 1804 onward, an immense circulation of Bibles, whereby as by a figurative rain society became refreshed and fruitful, thus breaking the spiritual famine; that as Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1, 2) threatened curses upon Elijah for his activities against her priests, and for the miracle of the rain coming as a result of prayer, and was frustrated in her purpose by his second flight into the wilderness, so the papacy threatened curses upon the faithful for their zeal against the papal clergy, and for the spread of the Bible, and was frustrated in its purpose by their second recession into isolation?
Do you know that as Elijah after confuting the priests of Baal, wrought in more or less isolation for the conversion of Israel, but failed to accomplish a thorough conversion, so the true Church has sought to convert the world, but has failed; that instead the world has hardened its heart, and as a consequence, the predicted curse of Mal. 4:6, the great Time of Trouble, has come; that the above considerations prove that the Elijah of Mal. 4:5, 6 and Matt. 11:14 has come and completed this work, which is another evidence that
we are living in the time of the Second Advent, in which the Time of Trouble occurs (Dan. 12:1; Rev. 11:17, 18)?
THE GREAT ANTICHRIST
Do you know that, as a fourteenth religious sign, the Bible foretells that Jesus' Second Advent would be preceded by Antichrist's (1 John 2:18; 4:3) coming into existence amid a great falling away, his rise to power despite a hindrance in the way, his prosperity and his revelation, and that his destruction would take place at the Second Advent (2 Thes. 2:3-8); that, having his small beginning in Apostolic times, and coming to his end during the Second Advent, he cannot be an individual and literal man, but must be a self-perpetuating system; that unless, as noted under the sixth religious sign above, we understand the Christ to be one Body, consisting of many members, the true Church, with Jesus as the Head, we are unprepared to recognize Antichrist, which likewise is one body consisting of many members, the Roman Catholic Church, with the pope as its head; that this does not mean that individual Roman Catholics, many of whom are real children of God, are antichrists, but that the papal system as such, not an individual, is the great Antichrist?
Do you know that papacy—the great Antichrist—developed out of, through and amid a corruption of the organization, doctrine and practice of the early Church (2 Thes. 2:3); that the pagan Roman empire, with a heathen emperor bearing the title of supreme religious ruler, was the hindrance in the way (vs. 6, 7, R. V.) to the Antichrist's attaining religious and political supremacy, but that it was finally removed when Justinian acknowledged papacy's religious supremacy, and by freeing Italy from the Goths in 539 A.D., opened the way for papacy to exercise political authority; that thus papacy exalted itself over rulers and also set itself into God's temple, the Church (1 Cor. 3:16, 17), showing itself to be a god, a mighty ruler (2 Thes. 2:4);
Signs of the Times on Our Lord's Return.
that in 539 papacy began the 1260 years of opposition to, and persecution of, God's faithful people (Dan. 7:21, 25; 8:11-13, 24; 11:33; Rev. 12:6), which ended in 1799, when papacy's temporal power was broken, especially by Napoleon; that in the Reformation period it was proven from the Bible and history that papacy is the Antichrist, thus revealing him; that following that revealing, papacy's consuming began, through the influence of secular and religious Truth ("the spirit of his mouth"—2 Thes. 2:8—the teachings of God's mouthpieces); that since 1874 the glorious and powerful Truth of God has been shining so brightly that through its manifestation of the papacy in its teachings, character and effects, the Lord in His Second Advent is accomplishing the destruction (v. 8) of the Antichrist, the papacy, the Romanist hierarchy as such, though, of course, not its adherents; that this destruction will be completed (Rev. 17:16) during the present great Time of Trouble; that the above considerations (many more details are given, e.g., in The Time is at Hand, Chapter IX) show that Antichrist's appearing, prosperity, revelation, consuming and partial destruction have occurred; that therefore we are living in the time of Jesus' Second Advent?
Do you know that the above 26 signs of the times show clearly to the "watchers" (Matt. 24:42; Mark 13:37) that our Lord has returned in His Second Advent and is engaged in the work of overthrowing Satan's empire; that His Return has been the ardent hope of all true Christians from the beginning of the Gospel Age (Luke 21:27-31; 1 Cor. 1:7, 8; Phil. 3:20, 21; Col. 3:4; 1 Thes. 1:10; 2:19; 2 Thes. 3:5; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:28; 1 Pet. 1:7, 13; 4:13; 5:4; 1 John 3:2); that the consciousness of His now being here in His Second Advent should fill our hearts with joy unspeakable and full of glory; that it should lead us to greater diligence in searching the Word of God, in order to learn its deeper truths; that it should lead us to live closer to the Lord, that we
may be found in Him without spot and blameless; that only those who use the knowledge of Christ's Second Presence in this way glorify God, and profit themselves and others; that it is our highest privilege to do these things and that the Lord will help us to do them, if we seek His help therein through Jesus Christ?
THE MESSIANIC REIGN
Lo! in the clouds of Heaven appears
God's well-beloved Son.
He brings a train of brighter years,
His Kingdom is begun.
He comes a guilty world to bless
With mercy, truth and righteousness.
O Father! haste the promised hour
When at His feet shall lie
All rule, authority and power
Beneath the ample sky;
When He shall reign from pole to pole,
The Lord of every ransomed soul;
When all shall heed the words He said,
Amid their daily cares,
And by the loving life He led,
Shall strive to pattern theirs;
When He who conquered Death shall win
The mightier conquest over Sin.